I was inspired to make this curry after a glorious vacation in Thailand, where we ate spicy Thai food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Any combination of fish and shellfish will work for this curry, although firm-textured fish that won't disintegrate as it cooks is best. You can leave the skins on to prevent the fish from breaking up.
- 14 ounces monkfish fillets, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1¾ cups coconut milk, mixed with 1¾ cups water
- 1 pound live mussels
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 5 ounces sugarsnap peas
- 3-4 scallions, minced
- Handful of fresh basil or cilantro leaves for garnish
- Toasted coconut shavings for garnish (optional)
- 1½ cups jasmine rice, washed
- 1 cup coconut milk, mixed with ¾ cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 large shallots, roughly chopped
- 6-7 large, mild, red chili peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- Small handful of cilantro stems, chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, minced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, minced (or finely grated zest of 2 limes)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3-4 tablespoons water
Put the monkfish pieces into a large bowl with a little seasoning and spoon a few tablespoons of coconut milk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook. Wash the mussels; discard any that do not close when gently tapped.
To make the lime and coconut rice, put all the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 8-10 minutes. Without removing the lid, remove from the heat and let the rice steam for 5-10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, put all the ingredients for the curry paste into a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides. If necessary, add a little more water to get a finely ground paste.
Heat the peanut oil in a deep pan or a wok. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for over low heat just until the paste smells fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and water mixture, then stir in the palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Tip in the sugarsnap peas, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mussels and monkfish, cover the pan, and simmer until the mussels have opened and the monkfish is opaque and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Scatter the scallions and basil leaves over the top. Serve immediately with the lime and coconut rice, garnished with a sprinkling of toasted coconut shavings.
Nutritional information does not include Toasted coconut shavings for garnish.